Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Ray Austin|
|Produced by||"Ralph Solomons"|
|Written by||Klaus Vogel (novel)|
|Music by||Ted Dicks|
|Edited by||Phillip Barnikel|
|Distributed by||Tigon Film Distributors Ltd.|
Virgin Witch is a 1971 British horror exploitation film about a prospective model who ends up joining a coven of witches. The film was directed by Ray Austin, and stars sisters Ann and Vicki Michelle.
Christine (Ann Michelle) and her sister Betty (Vicki Michelle) are aspiring models. When agent Sybil Waite (Patricia Haines) offers Christine a weekend's work shooting an advert at a house in the country, Christine takes Betty with her to frustrate Johnny (Keith Buckley), an older man who is attracted to Betty.
The modelling job is actually a ploy to initiate Christine into a coven of white wizards of which the owner of the house, Gerald Amberley (Neil Hallett), is leader and Sybil high priestess. Christine, who has psychic abilities, joins of her own free will, believing that magic can be used for good as well as evil. Christine's powers create tension between her and Sybil, who is a lesbian and has an obvious sexual interest in her. The conflict escalates when Sybil vows to have Betty initiated into the coven.
At the initiation ritual, Christine wrests control from Sybil by psychically torturing her. Betty is rescued by Johnny, who has been alerted to Sybil's predatory nature by a friend. Christine then uses her powers to kill Sybil and take her place as high priestess.
The producer was "Ralph Solomons" (a pseudonym of Kent Walton), whose other producing credits include The Green Shoes, It's the Only Way to Go, and A Persian Fairy Tale. While Hazel Adair’s name appears on the credits (as co-writer of the song "You Go Your Way"), she did not admit to co- producing the film until 1975, when she featured in an episode of the BBC's Man Alive concerning sex films. The revelation that prompted Cinema X magazine (Vol 4. No. 4) to remark that her films "are far removed from Miss Adair’s more cozy world of Crossroads, Hazel Adair’s other films include Clinic Exclusive (1971), Can You Keep It Up For a Week? (1974), Keep It Up Downstairs (1976), and the more mainstream Game for Vultures (1979).
Virgin Witch was filmed in Surrey during 1970 and previewed in the December editions of Mayfair and Continental Film Review (in which the title was referred to as "The Virgin Witch"). However, the film is copyrighted as a 1971 production, and censorship problems would mean it was not widely seen until 1972. The country house location, Pirbright, Admiral's Walk would be later used in Satan's Slave (1976) and Terror (1978), which were both directed by Norman J. Warren.
Virgin Witch was rejected by the BBFC in April 1971, but was passed with an X rating by the Greater London Council for a limited release in the capital. The British Censor eventually relented and passed a cut version for general release in January 1972.
The 1990s video release(s) on the Redemption/Salvation labels are uncut, as are the current UK and US DVD releases. Glamour model Teresa May appeared on the cover of the 1993 UK video release of the film on the Redemption video label (she also modelled for the cover of their video release of Baron Blood and the never issued release of Don’t Deliver Us From Evil).